‘Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent’ up for auction

Jun 29, 2009
Rachel Helyer-Donaldson

Richard Avedon’s famous portrait of the German actress and sex symbol could fetch up to £30,000 when it goes for auction at Christie’s this week

An iconic portrait of the German actress Nastassja Kinski by the late American photographer Richard Avedon could fetch up to £30,000 when it goes for auction at Christie's in London on Wednesday. Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent first appeared in a 1981 issue of Vogue but became a best-selling poster.
Kinski, now 48, became an international sex symbol in the late 1970s, following her appearance in the 1978 Italian erotic film Cosi Come Sei. The actress gained legions of fans when the film was released in the United States the following year, titled Come As You Are.

Time magazine praised Kinski's performance opposite Marcello Mastroianni, describing the actress as "simply ravishing, genuinely sexy and high-spirited without being painfully aggressive about it".
Kinski, whose father is the German actor Klaus Kinski, made an even bigger impression when she appeared in Roman Polanski's 1979 film Tess, based on Thomas Hardy's novel, Tess of the D’Urbervilles. She had a relationship with Polanski, which she began when she was 15.
The Avedon portrait of Kinski is a limited edition print and will go on sale along with work by photographers from Britain, Japan and Korea. Among the lots is an unpublished photograph of a 19-year-old Kate Moss taken in 1993 by Glen Luchford, which is expected to fetch between £8,000 and £12,000.

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